Holding your line...

When slower riders are out practicing with substancially faster riders, I would like to urge one thing in particular to the slower riders. HOLD YOUR LINE! Dont be wandering all over the *&^%^*(&^ corner! I now have a broken collar bone as the direct result of someone that didnt hold his line. And I am still trying to figure out what kind of @$%$% line this guy was running in the first place. I hit the ground so hard I cant even remember whom (who?) I slammded into. Im through now, my shoulder hurts. :)

Dude, Sorry to hear about your collar bone. I hope you heal quick and well.

Man I know the feeling of a broken collarbone (make sure you wear the backpack looking brace they gave you, or you will look like a hunchback)! I am riding on Thurs for the first time in 2 1/2 months after a broken collarbone (finally the weather around here is nice, and not rainy! Low- 45 High- 65...cant beat that!)

The reason slower riders cant hold a line is: when a guy on a 426 is behind them the mass suction of the 12.5:1 compression engine is drawing them towards your airbox, and then it happens BAM.....you both crash and guess whose bike gets screwed up? Well it is always tends to be my bike at least LOL!

But seriuosly I have noticed that other slower riders get scared of the loud 4 stroke and try to get out of the way (especially little kids on 60's and 80's). Every time I see someone do this I pull them over and tell them, "if someone is behind you, just keep your line and they will eventually pass you" this keeps me/my bike/and others safe. Later,


I do agree with you Shawn and sorry to hear about your injury. Hope your back in the saddle soon.

Being a mid pack amateur I also have something to say about the faster riders.

It's only f-ing practice!!!!!

Be aware that the slower rider in front of you probably won't clear that jump or hold his line in that turn.

It won't ruin your day to be a little cautious when passing the slower riders but it will if he screws up.

I have been on both sides of this situation and I choose to slow down, not jump and pass them on a straight or wide corner with alot of room to spare.

Just my 2 cents.

I know your bummed about your collarbone snafu, it sucks not being able to ride due to someone else causing your get off. I had a similar incident and wound up with 2 broken wrists. I have to agree all the posts so far. First off, everyone starts out somewhere and you are gonna have these newer riders going all over the place, I kind of expect it and do what I can to avoid them. I know I'll pass them eventually so I don't pass them over jumps and give them plenty of room down the straights and corners. One thing I notice is that since you can hear a thumper coming, inevitably you'll see most new riders looking around to see where your at. This is the worst thing to do since it causes them to get off line and usually right into yours. If they would just keep their head down and ride, it would be better for everyone.

On the other hand, my wife rides also and is damn good for a woman. She has gotten the boot out of all the women's classes since she beats 99% of them so badly. She is no slouch but is not as fast as intermediates and up. Something I notice is some of these guys ride practice like it is a National race. They are stuffing new riders in turns, nailing jumps and landing 6 inches away from a beginner, and taking riders over berms. I'm big enough, fast enough and smart enough to avoid this crap. But I have seen this done to my wife, a few friends as well as little kids. I don't agree with letting a 5 year old on a KTM 50 out on the track when there are alot of grownups out there, but they do come out anyway. Keep things in perspective, blitz your buddies and competent riders, they know how to react and hold their line. Give the inexperienced riders a little room. Even this won't ensure somebody will stay in there line as Shawn found out,but it is your best defense.

Hope you heal up well and wear that damn parachute looking contraption till the doc says all clear.


Ouch. Shawn, you are right....holding your line is just as important of a skill to learn and develop as any jumping and cornering. I had a run-in with someone already in a hare scramble...he cut the WHOLE WAY across the track, without looking back, to go around the single, low jump. I was hauling, going to lap him, and I locked up both brakes. I did bang him, yelling WHOA!!!!!!! the whole time. I still don't know how I didn't go down. I'm not sure if he did or not.

I also had someone at Sleep Hollow last year, MX, I went to pass him on the outside, and he came over just as I got to his rear wheel. We bumped bars, and my skill level was still really low (had just gotten done with my first year of riding, and first race off a broken knee), so I ended up going down....flying down a 10 foot drop where the walking tunnel was. I don't know how I missed the trees, as the corner is lined with 1 foot + diameter trees!!

Holding line is crucial to safety!!!!!

Yet....F-Pilot....you are so freakin right. I have been taken down so many times by some A__hole that just HAS to shove his stupid self by me. I am not someone who will hold another up. In the hare-scrambles, I will let someone by as soon as I have enough room to do so safely, without having to stop....hey, I'm racing too!

I had some idiot try to pass me on the inside once, and no way should he have tried. I came out of the turn, and we slammed pretty hard. We both went down. Only, he didn't get back up. I think he broke his leg. Now, had he only waited 10 seconds (no exaggeration), I would have let him by, as we would have come around for the straightaway to the scoring barrels. Instead, he had to force something stupid, and he broke a leg - so not only did he not save time, he DNFed. That happens all the time. Morons try to pass, when there is NO ROOM. I know, they are faster, i will not argue that...but give us slightly slower people a break...we are learning, and racing too!

In mountain bike racing, I was nearly unbeatable downhill. I could take on any terrain, without seeing it, and be one of the top riders. I even went down in one race, 3 times....only to still win by 14 seconds. The whole downhill race was only 2 minutes long. In mountain bike racing, you didn't yell at someone to get out of your way. When I came up to someone, I would on occasion go OFF THE COURSE, into some nasty stuff, and make a clean pass. Yeah, I dumped it a few times too.. but more often than not, I would make a clean pass. An expert we rode with all the time, I passed him once, through something that wasn't even thought of as being the course. He said I scared him, he thought I was going down....

Point is....if you're fast, you make the pass happen....not by forcing, but by skill. I never yell at anyone to get out of my way, or force an issue, (unless it's a family member! :) ) I expect my own skills to take my by someone, not to have them give me a pass.

Heal up quick though!

I feel your pain Shawn MC. I was in your same position about a year and two months ago when a slower rider decided to cut in front of me and roll the double jump.

I'm usually one of the slower riders at the track, but it's all for fun right. What I've learned is just hold your line and don't worry about who's behind you, usually if you try and get out of their way it just makes things worst. The faster guys will find away around you.

Several of tracks here in my area Dallas, TX separate the experts and the slow guys, which helps. Just remember everybody was a beginner at one time.

Check this article out if you haven't already

 MXA Collarbone article

[ December 18, 2001: Message edited by: DPW ]

Not much I can add to FPilot's post, except Amen!

Yep, it is F***ing practice! But i do feel your pain.


I'm with you 100% bud, I have nothing to add to what you said.


Good luck on the recovery, I've been trying to get over a rib injury for a month now.

Not to stretch this post out longer but do any of the tracks have flaggers on practice days.

Tracks here only have them for race days and even then they are kids.

Uugh, i was just out practicing my brake checks and this guy almost ran me over!!! I think my brake light must be burned out.

Tough luck on the CB I just had a similar experience with a tree, we won't go there, emotional as well as facial scars, and that was the tree.


The track here in Vegas always has flaggers ERRR warm bodies standing by obstactles, during practices. The track I ride in Mesquite, NV never has flaggers during practice however, it is a "natural" style track that has good visibility and no knarly (sp) jumps. The Vegas track I heard was designed by Cary Hart's dad therefore, flaggers are very much a necessity.

Also, Vegas track always has EMT's and Mesquite does not.


Practice days are the most dangerous because of just this type of thing. I am always scanning the track as far ahead as possible for such riders which gives more time to decide which, what and how to get around safe when you catch them. It will help you to react if you always expect the worst.

Another thing I find as dangerous is the idiots that get off and on the track right in front of you when you are at speed.

As a side note, while I was laying there, completely off the course as my get off through me way off the the actual course, a kid on a KX 60 almost ran over not only myself but the EMT also. I mean the kid actual skidded to a stop between my arm and my body, on the side of the broken collar bone (right side). This I was not amused at. I kinda felt bad for him though, I think he was more scared than I was, everybody yell'n at him and all. At any rate thanks for the good will from everybody and I guess Ive got an excuse to get an aluminum throttle tube now. Ya know, Ive been riding for over 30 years and I know I have never hit the ground this hard before. At least not with my whole body anyway. Ride safe (if ya can). :)

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